Theresa Gilges stared outside at a gloomy scene Wednesday afternoon from her booth at Bucky's Drive In, 2120 W. Ninth St.
"It's depressing. I'd rather see snow than rain. Rain makes you sleepy and kind of bums you out," said the Lawrence Holidome's controller.
If Wednesday's more than 1 inch of rain had your spirits down, the forecast the next few days won't perk you up.
That's if you're counting on a white Christmas in Lawrence.
"At this point, it looks like this was our last chance. And we got the rain," said Kris Kraven, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka.
Some 1.1 inches of rain had fallen in Lawrence by Wednesday evening, said 6News chief meteorologist Jennifer Schack.
A large system moved north from New Mexico into the area, but warmer air from the Gulf of Mexico kept the precipitation as rain in Lawrence while snow and ice socked areas to the west, Kraven said.
Forecasters expected the colder air to stay wrapped up to the north, and Lawrence would likely not get much more precipitation, she said.
Parts of Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska were stuck in a blizzard Wednesday, and the western half of the state experienced snow, ice and blowing winds.
The National Weather Service predicted 7 inches of snow in parts of northwestern Kansas by this evening.
The hard rainfall was unusual for a December day. Winter officially begins at 6:22 p.m. today when the sun crosses back over the equator at 90 degrees, Schack said.
But Wednesday's rain did help catch up the area marginally on what was an 8-inch rainfall deficit below the yearly average, she said.
Chuck Soules, Lawrence's director of public works, said the city's sewer and drainage systems worked well Wednesday.
"We're not anticipating it to get cold," he said. "If it does, we've got people on call that we can get out on the roads."
With no major storm systems expected in the area after today, the news bodes well for the expected 65 million Americans who will travel in the next few days, according to AAA estimates.
An estimated 52 million travelers will drive, which has contributed to a national trend and an increase in gasoline prices the past few days. The average price in Kansas is $2.23 per gallon, which is up from $2.14 the same time last year.